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Outstanding faculty

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CAS honors 8 for advising, mentoring, advocacy, teaching, scholarship

photos of eight faculty members

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​This year's college faculty award winners are (top row, from left) Oyenike Olabisi, Persephone Braham, Jessica Edwards and Jill Flynn and (bottom row, from left) Kristen Poole, James Angelini, Ritchie Garrison and Jamie Sutherland.​

Eight faculty members have received this year's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) awards for outstanding achievement in a variety of categories.

The 2019-20 awards were given to Persephone Braham, associate professor of languages, literatures and cultures, and Jamie Sutherland, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, both for excellence in advisement; Jill Flynn, professor of English education, and Oyenike Olabisi, associate professor of biological sciences, both for excellence in advocacy; J. Ritchie Garrison, professor emeritus of history, excellence in mentoring; Kristen Poole, Ned B. Allen Professor of English, excellence in scholarship; James Angelini, associate professor of communication, excellence in service; and Jessica Edwards, associate professor of English, excellence in teaching.

Over the past few weeks, CAS Dean John A. Pelesko surprised each of the honorees with a virtual visit during an online class or event to announce and present the award.

Following are more details about the honorees and the tributes Pelesko offered.

Persephone Braham is chair of undergraduate studies and of Latin American and Iberian studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, where she was previously adviser for the three languages minor. She is described as a generous and fiercely dedicated adviser and mentor whose active contributions to supporting students are invaluable.

Jamie Sutherland has served as the Department of Mathematical Sciences' curricular adviser for the last seven years, meeting the needs of all math majors, spanning seven academic programs with skill, dedication and compassion. Sutherland is a vibrant presence in the math department and is known for being knowledgeable, fair and very generous with his time.

Jill Ewing Flynn has championed ways to expose systemic inequalities in education and propose courses of action to confront and change them. While focusing her energy on teaching, advising and teacher preparation, she is also a scholar and voice of the unheard and is a major force of change on campus and in the greater community.

Oyenike Olabisi is consistently focused on creating initiatives to foster an inclusive environment and is recognized as a leader, instructor, mentor and advocate for diversity and inclusion at the campus, national and global levels. Her record in promoting the success of undergraduate minority students is extensive and multifaceted.

J. Ritchie Garrison has been a member of the History Department for 35 years, but his truly interdisciplinary work extended to Museum Studies, Art History, the Hagley and Winterthur Museums, and the doctoral programs in American Civilization and Material Culture. His enthusiastic and devoted students have gone forth to museum and academic posts all over the country.

Kristen Poole, who earned a graduate degree in theology in 2019 to deepen and expand her mastery of the field of English literature of the 16th and 17th centuries, is described as a dedicated, multidimensional scholar and teacher. Her first-rate scholarship includes two books, 25 articles and three co-edited volumes.

James Angelini is known as a generous colleague who commits a great deal of time to service at the department, college and professional levels while maintaining a strong record in teaching and research. He designed the curriculum for a new doctoral program, an online master's degree program in strategic communication and a new graduate certificate in strategic communication. 

Jessica Edwards is recognized for her successful, socially conscious and innovative teaching practices that break down the barriers of freshman resistance and arouse student interest in Technical English and Written Communication in Business. She engages her students by making them feel valued both as individuals and as members of a collaborative learning community.

About the awards

The honorees were selected by the college's Faculty Awards Committee, chaired by Lawrence G. Duggan, professor of history, with members Richard Cunningham, professor of theater, Alenka  Hlousek-Radojcic, associate professor of biological sciences, Gladys Ilarregui, associate professor of languages, literatures and cultures, and Brenda Shaffer, instructor in fashion and apparel studies.

Article by College of Arts and Sciences communications staff

Published Nov. 15​​​​​​​​​​​​, 2020

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The College of Arts and Sciences has honored eight outstanding faculty members with 2019-20 awards for excellence in a variety of categories.
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